Southwest Airlines Reduces Between-Flight Sanitizing Procedure

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Southwest Airlines is scaling back its aircraft-cleaning procedures between flights.

In a memo obtained by USA TODAY, the airline announced as of August 1, only high-touch areas like onboard restrooms and tray tables will be disinfected. The airline will no longer disinfect armrests and seat belts between each flight as it had done under its previous COVID-19 cleaning procedure.

"These are the most important areas to clean between each flight as they are prone to contamination from Customer use and food/beverage consumption," Southwest said.

Seat armrest and seat belts will still be cleaned during the aircraft’s overnight deep cleaning.

Sanitizing wipes will be made available for passengers to disinfect their own seating area before a flight.

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